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Campion Walker's favorite plants, our latest projects and updates.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

 As promised our next spectacular canyon bloom is Ceanothus thyrsiflorus, known as Blueblossom or Blue Blossom Ceanothus, an evergreen shrub in the genus Ceanothus that is endemic to California. As soon at the Ceanothus crassifolius came to the end of its bloom cycle the Blueblossom Ceanothus started and has been increasing for the last three weeks. Looking out at the canyon now it appears that at least 25% of the chaparral is Ceanothus thyrsiflorus. As mentioned previously we don’t remember the bloom ever being this intense, it truly is amazing to see the native plants following the natural watering cycle. The term 'Californian lilac' is applied to this and other varieties of Ceanothus, though it is not closely related to Syringa, the true lilac. C. thyrsiflorus can grow more than 20 ft. tall in its native chaparral habitat but varies dramatically in form and size over its natural range, with some plants growing fairly upright to 30 feet and others growing in a mounding form to only 2-3 feet tall.  Flowers vary from different shades of blue to close to white. It is popular with birds, butterflies, and other pollinators, its flowers are important for bees and butterflies, and its seed pods are an important food source for birds and small mammals. Blueblossom Ceanothus is evergreen, with leaves range from bright green to dark green. It has small flowers that are produced in dense, puff-shaped clusters that are white, light blue, dark blue or purple. They bloom in the late winter through early spring, and then mature into a dry, three-lobed seed capsule. These images were taken in Topanga canyon approximately 2 miles from the beach.

https://www.calfloranursery.com/plants/ceanothus-thyrsiflorus

up next Rhus ovata...

Ceanothus in the Canyon

The abundant rains this year have gifted us with the most spectacular bloom of one of our native Ceanothus seen in years. Ceanothus crassifolius is a species of flowering shrub known by the common name Hoaryleaf Ceanothus. This Ceanothus is found throughout the coastal mountain ranges of the southern half of California, and its range extends into Baja California. C. crassifolius typically occurs in coastal and montane California chaparral habitat associations. This year was especially spectacular with huge drifts of white flowing down the sides of the west end of Topanga Canyon. Amazing what a little bit of rain can do!

Up next Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (just starting to show now)...

Agave

Agave is a genus of monocots native to the hot and arid regions of Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Some agave species are also native to tropical areas of South America. The plants are perennial, but each rosette flowers once and then dies. Some of the products you may know that come from Agaves include Agave Nectar ( a sweetener)  and Tequila. This variety is Agave ‘Blue Flame’ photographed at the Huntington botanical gardens in Pasadena. 

Take a peek into our process...

Santa Susanna Pass, CA.

Campion Walker is currently working on a project replacing a thirsty lawn using a beautiful mixture of drought tolerant California natives and Mediterranean plant materials in order to create a lush meadow garden.

This installation also includes natural riprap, used to channel water through the property using existing, on site sandstone.

 

California Holly

It is said that early residents of Southern California were so moved by the beautiful holly-like bush Heteromeles arbutifolia, also known as California Holly or Toyon, that they were inspired to call their new home Hollywood.

California Holly– is a hardy native that is extremely easy to cultivate. It is a component of the coastal sage scrub plant community, and is a part of drought-adapted chaparral and mixed oak woodland habitats.

Needing full sun and only occasional water, this plant can grow anywhere from 6 to 18 feet tall flowering white in summer then yielding bright red berries in fall and winter.  Clipped branches can often be found in floral arrangements especially around the holiday season.  With its fun connection to the history of Hollywood, its beauty and its ability to tolerate many growing conditions, we love adding Toyon to our gardens.